Why I Left Hootsuite, And How It Caused Me To Re-evaluate Many Other Things

main article graphic

Sometimes I get complacent. I don’t want to do the work to evaluate my habits, routines, processes, and tools simply because I’ve done the work before. As a result, I often am stuck with things that don’t work, until some external force causes me to re-evaluate where I am.

I realized this was an over-arching theme in my life recently after one of my tools did just that – forced me to re-evaluate. And it’s caused some churn in my life, all of which has made things better.

Why I Left Hootsuite

I have been a customer of Hootsuite for years. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the product, it was an early tool to post across multiple social media platforms. I chose Hootsuite because I could upload a batch of social media posts and it would process them, sending them out when I had specified.

I didn’t mind paying the $5.99 a month, even though in the past year or so I haven’t bothered much with using the batch upload. I had found that the return on my time investment to create the batch files wasn’t worth the outcome. I saw little to no engagement, and little increased traffic from something that took me 3-4 hours a month.

And honestly, I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I don’t use it personally, and Hootsuite was a place where I could deal with all the blog interactions without being sucked down rabbit holes that using the platforms themselves presented.

What the Heck, Hootsuite?

However, I received an email that Hootsuite was going to jump my price from $5.99 a month to $75 a month. If you don’t want to do the math, that’s a 1152.09% increase. No, I didn’t misplace the decimal point.

The fact is, I wasn’t getting $5.99 of value out of the tool. Why would I pay $75? Not to mention, if I am going to hop to that price point, I would choose a tool that does far more of the thinking for me. Dropping to the free plan would eliminate my ability to schedule the 20 social media posts I do a month because they only allow 5 in the queue.

So Hootsuite went out. And I tweeted a very pointed comment at them. I’m glad I did.

Finding the New Tool

It turns out that one of the responses I got to that tweet was from a company called Later. They allow me to have all of my platforms, and 30 posts per platform. For free. And if I need more, their bottom tier would give me what I need. I can’t bulk upload, but honestly, I had stopped using that anyway.

So for now I’ve gone with Later. They do what I need and the interface is decent, and I started checking social media through the apps on my tablet, where time limits keep me from going down rabbit holes.

When I look back on it, I was paying to use Hootsuite’s features, and I wasn’t using them. I haven’t used the bulk upload since Feb of 2020. So that means I have been sending them $5.99 a month for 15 months for nothing. It’s not a big amount of money, but it definitely could have been spent elsewhere, and probably with better returns.

The Over-Arching Life Theme

I’ve noticed that with other areas of my life, I’ve become complacent as well.

  • Habits. While I’ve managed to cultivate some better habits (like walking every day, 140 days in a row now), some of my other habits have stagnated. My eating habits have allowed me to maintain my weight and not put on the COVID 20 pounds, but that I not what I want. I need to shift my lifestyle to make better food choices and to drink more water.
  • Routines. My household routines have not shifted since my daughter was in middle school. She had assigned chores then, and they remained pretty much unchanged until high school due to her class and rehearsal load. But now she’s in college, living at home, and she can take on more of the food prep and house cleaning. I need to adjust to accommodate this.
  • Processes. I meal plan for a week at a time, and submit the grocery order on Thursday night. This is because our grocery store inevitably screws up the order (like giving our order to someone else – this has happened three times) if it is done on the weekend. But my family and I are tired of the same old, and I need to come up with a better way to manage food plans and shopping.
  • Tools. My weekly planning has become a nightmare, but I have put up with it because I’ve done it this way for so long. I have been using Evernote to store both reference material and my someday/maybe/project list and it hasn’t been working. I need to find a way to do this better so things get done and don’t fall between the cracks.

The Churn

As I mentioned above, re-evaluating Hootsuite has caused churn in my life. Since I realized all the things that had become less than optimal, I have started making changes to address them.

  • Habits. I have enlisted my daughter as my accountability and started tracking my food again. I know that this process will work for me – a Weight Watchers approach is the only thing that has been proven to keep weight off in the long term. I’ve always balked because I don’t want to write things down. But with my daughter able to ask to see my app at any time, I have been sticking to it.
  • Routines. We now split the cleaning on Thursdays after I get off work. Since we’re both working at the same time, we know what the other one has done. It goes much faster, and sometimes I even get off work to find she’s done the whole thing.
  • Processes. With summer around the corner, I transitioned away from my winter food rotation. My daughter and I sat down and picked out recipes that we like or that we know will work. Some of them she will make, some some either of us can make. With an 8 week rotation, it’s less likely we will get bored with the food, and I will be able to meal plan based on our schedules and who is doing the cooking.
  • Tools. After jettisoning Hootsuite, I realized I needed to jettison Evernote as well. It was partly because Evernote is glitchy and there are signs to me, as a software developer, that the underlying code base is either unstable or poorly designed. And I’m paying for the use of buggy software whose glitches prevent me from working? So I’ve spent a good part of this month getting rid of Evernote. I’ll have an article about how I did it next month.

The End Result

So as a result of a price hike in a single tool, I’m looking at many of the things I don’t really think about very often because they have worked for me for many years. Except they really haven’t been working optimally, and I am now re-evaluating them.

For those of us in the productivity and deliberate living space, this is a huge thing. So as “homework” I’m going to ask you to look at your life and see if something needs to be re-evaluated and changed. Please share your experiences below.